Ulver - Nattens Madrigal
Century Black
Black Metal
10 songs (43:56)
Release year: 1997
Reviewed by Valefor

The third installment of the so-called trilogie, Ulver's Nattens Madrigal has little in common with their previous releases, Bergtatt and Ksveldsjanger. While the first two albums were a mixture of folk influenced acoustic and flute forest music interspersed with a smattering of black metal, Nattens Madrigal is pure, raw, unadorned black metal.

According to legend, Ulver was given a healthy budget to record this album from Century Media, so Garm and co. spent the money on a Corvette and a bunch of expensive clothes, meanwhile proceeding to record the album on a four track soundboard, using cheap equipment, minimal mics, etc., much to the chagrin of Century Media. I have also heard that the album was recorded in the middle of a forest... either would explain the production, which is as raw as it gets. Make no mistake, though, this is some of the most beautiful music to ever grace my ears, and the melodies are crystal clear.

As I said, the production is raw, but the music itself is quite sophisticated and very melodic, evoking so many different emotions that the listener is left in a state of silent wonder. The lyrics, penned in old Danish, are quite simply the work of poetic genius and are based on the themes of Lycanthropy, Sorcery and Lust. All tracks are ultra-fast, precise and hauntingly melodic, Garm's voice is perfect, although no clean chants are displayed on this album. The guitar work is remarkable, lead and rythym guitars creating an atmosphere of lunar possession; you are transported to the moonlit forest, snarling breath steaming in the cold, winter night.

Though musically this could be called pure, even "true" Black Metal, Ulver are one of the few bands that truly transcends labels. The talent that these guys possess is undeniable, and it is in top form on this release. Bottom line: Nattens Madrigal is a work of dark art, which is to be expected from Ulver. The reconciliation of raw, passionate energy and dark, beautiful melody is nothing less than an act of highest magick.
Highly recommended.

Killing Songs :
All of them
Valefor quoted CLASSIC
Other albums by Ulver that we have reviewed:
Ulver - The Assassination of Julius Caesar reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
Ulver - Messe I.X - VI.X reviewed by Goat and quoted 75 / 100
Ulver - Wars Of The Roses reviewed by Goat and quoted 90 / 100
Ulver - Perdition City reviewed by James and quoted 95 / 100
Ulver - Themes From William Blake's The Marriage Of Heaven And Hell reviewed by James and quoted 81 / 100
To see all 10 reviews click here
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